Macro vs. Micro Influencers: What’s Best for Your Business?

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  • 6/4/2019
    New Year, new brand strategies – that’s how the saying goes, right? By now I’m sure we’re all familiar with the buzzword influencer marketing. Now more than ever audiences are placing their trust into the hands of social media savvy individuals who they see as authentic resources. From local mommy bloggers to food connoisseurs to full-on celebrity-esque lifestyle influencers, these individuals have built a personal brand for themselves and, in turn, have become a source of reliability for their followers. According to a recent report by Klear, Instagram influencer marketing grew by over 39% in 2019 with 2.1 million sponsored posts on the platform. For this reason alone it’s easy to see why incorporating it into your brand strategy is a necessity. The harder question to answer is: “How do we know what influencers are best for our brand?” I’m glad you asked.
    Let’s talk macro vs. micro (no, not economics). 
    Macro vs. Micro Influencers:
    What is a macro influencer? 
    Much like the name suggests, macro influencers are typically those who have a lot of followers on a given social media platform, typically greater than 100,000 but in some cases, in the millions. These individuals are usually experienced in the influencer marketing world and are more likely to request monetary compensation or free products or services for partnering with your brand.
    Should you work with them?

    The Pros:
    • If you got it, flaunt it. Basically, if you have the resources to expend on a strong influencer marketing campaign, you can afford to vet out the biggest and best influencers whose audiences align with yours and who will provide you with great ROI.
    • Time saver. If you find the right macro influencer(s) to partner with, you won’t have to spend time managing a large group of influencers because you’re already reaching your major target audience in a big way.
    • Professionality. Typically these types of influencers have worked with several other brands/businesses and therefore know what they’re signing up for. You can usually expect a professional interaction that will leave you feeling confident about the partnership.  
    • Measurement. ROI isn’t always the easiest to define in an influencer marketing campaign, but with macro influencers, it can be easier. For example, Social Media Today reminds us that brands often provide larger influencers with deals to give their followers, making it easier to track and attribute sales to a certain product or service.

    The Cons:
    • “Ouch, that one’s going to hurt.” If your business doesn’t have a decent sized budget, chances are you won’t be able to afford a mega influencer as they can cost in the thousands depending on status. The coverage could be great for your brand, but the financial resources it takes might not be worth the ROI. This is definitely something to keep in mind when weighing your options.
    • Authenticity. When people know someone they follow is getting paid to promote a certain product or service, they may doubt the authenticity behind their post. If you’re going to pursue a campaign with a macro influencer, make sure their content comes off authentic and aligns well with the message you’re trying to get across to their followers. After all, their reach is typically large and having a large number of consumers doubt your brand’s sincerity isn’t a good look. 

    What are micro influencers?
    On the other side of the spectrum, we have micro influencers – those who typically have around 10,000 – 100,000 followers. Because they might be relatively new to the “influencer game,” they are more likely to request less in exchange for a partnership. (Note: This does not mean free, just that the chances are higher you will expend less resources working with them.)  
    Should you work with them?

    The Pros:
    • No breaking the bank. Most small influencers know that they won’t receive as much compensation as those with mega followings and will therefore not ask for as much in return. They are also working to build their brand, so having a partnership is still a win in their book.
    • They may be small, but they are mighty. (Or something like that.) In most cases, micro influencers are better able to connect and engage with their followers because, said plainly, there aren’t as many. Therefore, their audience has a higher likelihood of believing their message and trusting their recommendations. So what does this mean for your business? Basically, better conversion rates as they can convert consumers for a lower cost at a much more efficient rate than other options.
    • Spread the love. If your brand isn’t spending too many resources on one micro influencer, it has room to involve multiple micro influencers in its campaign. This allows for greater reach to new audiences separated by niche and geographic location, among others.
    The Cons:
    • Less professionality. If the influencer isn’t used to dealing with brand partnerships, they may or may not know how to act in a “business professional” manner. This isn’t always the case, but it’s something to think about when you’re choosing what influencers to work with.
    • Less reach. Numbers aren’t everything until they are. Yes, engagement could be higher, but because there are overall fewer followers, not as many people are seeing the content you are working so hard to put out there. Consider what is more important to your business.

    So who do you choose?
    Don’t panic. There are a few steps you can take to help you make your final decision.  
    1. Define your goals and KPIs.
    • What are you trying to achieve with this campaign? Are you promoting the launch of a new product? Are you trying to spread the word about new services you’re offering? Defining the goals for your campaign will be your first step to discovering who is best to partner with. If you are launching a new product, you may decide you want the largest audience possible to be exposed to it for a greater chance of driving sales. If you are spreading the word about adding services to your current roster, you may decide you want to save some time and resources by launching a campaign with micro influencers whose audience is interested and more invested in the specific changes happening within your business. Whatever you choose, make sure your goals have KPIs (key performance indicators) that make them measurable. This will be crucial when measuring the success of the campaign and adjusting future strategies and goals accordingly.
    2. Identify where your company’s audience mainly lies. 
    • Messaging will only work if it’s directed towards the right audience who cares about what is being said. Does your audience lie in the large lifestyle arena that could benefit from a large influencer marketing campaign, or does it lie in a niche community that would only work with a select few influencers? Make sure you confidently know the answer before delving into a campaign – trust us, knowing your audience is integral to your campaign’s success. 
    3. What’s your budget?
    • If you have the resources to plan and execute a large campaign with macro influencers (who are both credible and relevant to your niche and will help you reach your target audience in a major way) by all means go for it. However, if your budget is on the smaller side, working with micro influencers can still positively affect your business and might be your best bet. Set your budget early on and run a smart campaign accordingly. 
    4. How do they align with your brand?
    • Your brand is the face of your business. When you pair other faces with your business, you need to make sure their values match yours. Otherwise, your brand will be the one who looks inauthentic and/or unreliable. Don’t overlook this aspect.
    So, there you have it. You’re ready to enter the world of influencer marketing! If you take away nothing else, know this: macro and micro influencer campaigns both have their advantages as well as disadvantages, so there is no innately right or wrong answer. Make an educated decision based on your business’s needs and resources and you will be well on your way to having a kickass campaign and even more kickass results.
    Want to learn more about influencer marketing? Contact us today and we’ll set you up with a strong strategy.
    About the author::This blog was written by our Communications Department
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